UofL vs UK is the most heated rivalry in college basketball. Even when one team is clearly more talented than the other, it doesn’t foretell victory for that team.
CSZ has compiled YouTube videos of full games and highlights from every Cardinal victory since the 1990s. From Samaki Walker’s triple-double to Q’s nasty, ankle breaking crossover of Bam Adebayo, check out some of UofL’s happier moments in the rivalry. (All games in chronological order.)
1) 1-1-95: UofL defeats 5th ranked UK at Freedom Hall
UK came into the game ranked number 5 in the nation. UofL was not ranked. A nip and tuck game all the way, UofL came out on top 88-86.
The Cards were led by Samaki Walker’s 14 point, 10 rebound, and 11 block triple double. Dejuan Wheat iced the game late at the line, hitting two free throws; finishing the game with 23 points and 5 assists.
2) 12-27-97: UofL defeats eventual National Champion UK at Rupp 79-76
The seasons of both teams would turn out very differently. UK would go on to win the NCAA title while UofL finished a dismal 12-20. However, for this one game at Rupp, UofL proved to be the better team.
Alex Sanders had a 10 point, 10 rebound double-double, Cameron Murray had 15 points and 6 assists, and Eric Johnson added 20 points as UofL upset the eventual national champs on their home floor.
3) 12-27-98: UofL Defeats 3rd ranked and defending National Champion UK for second straight year 83-74
UofL was an underdog at home to 3rd ranked UK. UK was coming off a national title season while UofL was coming off a horrid season and, due to NCAA violations, was banned from postseason play for this particular season (later in the season the ban was overturned).
Marques Maybin led UofL with 19 points, taking over in the second half. Cameron Murray contributed a 14 point and 10 assist double-double as UofL upended UK.
4) 12-28-02: UofL blows out 14th ranked UK at Freedom Hall 81-63
UofL started this season out hot. UK transfer Marvin Stone was getting acclimated to his new home while Reece Gaines was the leading scorer.
However, in this game, two bigs would be the big reason UofL would win. Stone scored 16 points and Ellis Myles had a double-double, scoring 11 points and grabbing 14 boards, as UofL blew out UK. This avenged UofL’s blow out loss the year prior.
5) 12-27-03: 20th ranked UofL upsets number 1 (number 2 in AP Poll) UK at Rupp 65-56
UofL came into the game ranked 20th while UK was ranked 1st (2nd in AP Poll). UK was looking for revenge at home for last year’s blowout loss. Revenge would not be had.
Otis George scored 13 points and grabbed 8 boards, Larry O’Bannon and Luke Whitehead scored 11 each, and Francisco Garcia added 10 points as UofL used stifling defense to defeat UK 65-56. This was the second victory in a row for the Cards.
6) 1-5-08: UofL beats UK at Rupp behind Juan Palacios 89-75
UK was playing poorly under Billy Gillespie. UofL was the better team on paper and played like it beating UK at Rupp 89-75.
Juan Palacios led the way for the Cards scoring 17 points, grabbing 6 rebounds, and dishing 4 assists. Jerry Smith chipped in 17 points and 4 rebounds, T-Will dropped 15 points and 6 rebounds, and someone who shall remain nameless added 11 points.
7) 1-4-09: 18th ranked Cards beat UK on last second Edgar Sosa 3-pointer 74-71
UK came into the game unranked, but with an 11-3 record. UofL was ranked 18th with an 8-3 record. The game, however, was extremely tight. Edgar Sosa would eventually win it with an extremely long 3-pointer with 2.3 seconds left.
UofL was led by Terrance Williams with 19 points and 8 rebounds. Earl Clark added 10 points and 8 rebounds. Edgar Sosa chipped in 18 and Jerry Smith 11 for UofL.
8) 12-29-12: 4th ranked and eventual National Champion (I saw it happen. Can’t take it away NCAA) UofL edges UK 80-77
UK was coming off a national title the season prior. However, they struggled during this season, coming into the game 8-4. UofL was rolling; 12-1 with their only loss to Duke by 5 without starting C Gorgui Dieng. What many thought would be a UofL blowout ended up being a very tight game, but UofL prevailed 80-77.
Russ Smith led UofL with 21 points to go along with 7 boards. Chane Behanan added 20 points and 7 rebounds. Peyton Siva added 19 points as well.
9) 12-21-16: 10th ranked UofL defeats highly touted 6th ranked UK 73-70 after Quentin Snider puts Bam Adebayo on skates and Donovan Mitchell hits two clutch free throws in closing seconds
This game is fresh in UofL fan’s minds for many reasons. This was Rick Pitino’s last game he would coach in the rivalry. It was a matchup of top 10 teams that was treated narratively as if it was a mismatch of epic proportions. UK had a star-studded freshman lineup that included Malik Monk and DeAaron Fox. UofL had a good mix of young and veteran players that included hometown PG Quentin Snider, rising star Donovan Mitchell, and a good-looking young SF in Deng Adel.
The game was close all the way. Late in the game, with a little over a minute left, Q put Adebayo on skates, sent him falling to the floor, and hit a layup to give UofL a 69-63 lead late. UK would eventually make it a 1 point game, but Donovan Mitchell hit two late free throws to give UofL a 73-70 lead that would be the final score.
Q played the game of his life; scoring 22 points, grabbing 6 boards, and dishing out 5 assists. Donovan Mitchell scored 13, Deng Adel scored 18 and grabbed 6 rebounds, Jaylen Johnson had 14 and 6 rebounds, and Ray Spalding added 6 points and 7 rebounds.
UofL comes off a mauling at Rupp last year. That team was in all sorts of disarray at the time as they had lost their head coach just before the start of practice and were under an interim first time head coach in David Padgett.
Now, under Chris Mack, UofL looks to get revenge. Both teams have looked really good and really disappointing at various times this season. It will be interesting to see how this year’s edition of the rivalry plays out.